First, I watched Lucy with Scarlett Johansson (link here). It was pretty good, but not awesome. The premise was interesting, the special effects were good, and it's always a pleasure to watch Johansson on-screen. Morgan Freeman was subdued, while Amr Waked played a fine role. Pilou Asbæk - who reminds me of Ewan McGregor's older & creepier brother played an intense and abbreviated role at the beginning of the film (enough said). There were too many meaningless car chases… too much gratuitious violence that could have been better wrapped up / better executed with less strings left hanging… and the ending was a little bit "silly" for my analytical mind. But all-in-all, I'd give Lucy a thumb's up and recommend it if you're bored, or stuck, sleepless on a plane.
Next, before reaching Iranian Airspace, I watched Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise and the lovely Emily Blunt link here). I can't recommend this film, and I have no idea why it has 4 out of 5 stars on IMDB. Tom Cruise played himself. Emily Blunt plays a jaded, angry, cynical warrior who hacks up aliens… and who comes to understand Tom Cruise's character. What I did not like most about this
Crossing over Iran, still wide away, I watched Grand Budapest Hotel. (link here) Dr Desert Flower had rented this on Netflix some time back in September when we were flying to my little brother's wedding in Chicago, and watched it on her iPad. My beloved 1/2 deaf wife offered to give me one ear phone so I could watch it too, crammed into the middle seat beside her in a SouthWest Airlines coach seat [she always wants the aisle, I detest the aisle, and really just want a window seat that affords a bulkhead upon which I can lean against and sleep (see earlier postings this month here)]. I declined, tucked in my elbows, and read Voltaire's "Treatise on Tolerance". Sleepless over pre-dawn Iran, and still disgusted by the Doug Liman hackery I just endured, I watched Wes Anderson's romp through Eastern Europe Vague-a-stan with multi-cameo appearances by many many many actors - The Society of the Crossed Keys, Ha! It was a somewhat heart warming story, but rather silly, and again, with meaningless chase scenes and needless violence (sleds? shoot outs? beheadings? really… necessary?) Over-all, it was not unenjoyable, and I did snicker a few times. Can't say I loved it, but it was not bad.
Crossing from Iran to Turkey, and avoiding Syrian, Pakistani, Ukrainian, Afghani, and Chechnyan airspace, I still was strangely awake - albeit glad to not be shot down by any surface to air missiles. I saw that Divergent (link here) was on the movie list, so I queued it up, request another double cognac, and settled into 139 minutes of teenage pablum. Maybe if I was a 12 or 13 year old girl I would have liked it much better, but I didn't care about the characters, the hole-filled-plot, or the "filmed on a tiny budget indoors" cinematography. I didn't think anyone was "dreamy" or any of the acting believable. Massive thumbs down. Ew. 2 hours of my life I will never get back.
When Divergent ended, we were transitioning from Hungary to Austria, and then breakfast was served over Germany. Air France "Premier Economy" was not 1/2 as nice as I remembered it being in 2012 when I last flew on AIr France, and instead of "bolting on" Premier Economy to the back side of Business Class and treating it like business class, Air France has changed their model, and now treats Premier Economy like it is "slightly bigger coach", with no seat reclining, no business class food, and much-more-absentee service than I recall from 2 years ago. It was very slightly better than coach in that the arm rest was wider than 2 inches, and there was a tiny metallic foot rest that folded down from the row in front of you… but I would not say it was truly worth a 40% higher air fare than economy / coach (thigh still less than the 4X multiplier difference from coach to business class).
After we landed in Paris, I got a lobster wrap and a 1/2 bottle of wine, and slept well from Paris to Newfoundland, before waking up to do some email, eat lunch, and get ready to land. Atlanta to OC, I got a nice window seat (here).
On the way TO Dubai and India, I couldn't sleep so well in the aforementioned uncomfortable Premier Economy Air France seat, so I watched Guardians of the Galaxy (link here) upon Jon Stewart's recommendation. It was OK. Not great, not that enjoyable. Very not believable. Very hoaky. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it if I was taking a small child or a grand kid to the movies to see it… I dunno. I had No Idea that both Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper were in it as a walking tree and a raccoon - a stretch for both pretty boys to pull off successfully. I still have no idea why SO Many People LOVE Chris Pratt - he's a goof, and he played himself in Guardians. Sadly predictable that they're going to make a Guardians 2 sequel. Ugh.
Last weekend, Dr Desert Flower agreed to go see Fury with me (link here). She told em she wanted to go. She said she wanted to see it. I took her. She hated it. We were not even home and she was IM-ing people telling them how she hated it. I should have followed my retired neighbor Bob's advice and gone to see it in the afternoon while she was at work. Graphically violent, with a very-unbelievable ending (as in "cannot be believed", not "unbelievably awesome!")… I would have enjoyed the film more had I gone to see it by myself (or seen it on a plane, over Iran). I still think that the older Brad Pitt gets, the more he begins to resemble my younger brother… or at least, in the make-up for Fury, they made him look like my little brother.
The next night, we went to see Rosewater (link here) at the same theater - nice leather seats with arm